All devices, small and large are now under threat due to a new malware targeting IOT devices. The real difference is in the motive however.., It doesn’t spy on you, take your data or try to ransom money from you. It simply wants to destroy your compute hardware and no one knows why. It is called Bricker Bot
Discovered by researchers at cyber security firm Radware, Brickerbot is a brand new and particularly infectious malware with the goal of rendering your devices completely useless. It can access smart and IOT devices such as security cameras that are directly connected to the internet and then once hacked, will attempt to break the hardware in that device.
Pascal Greens, the research whom discovered the malware has described this malware as what they call a “permanent Denial of Service” attack. He then further explained that:
“A permanent denial of service attack is typically where you will try to override software or try to destroy hardware in such a way that the device cannot be recovered without experts doing recovery on the device.”
This malware can literally render your devices to become as useful as a brick. Hence the name “Bricker Bot” The first attack was identified last month and are not showing any sign of slowing down.
Although it has a completely different agenda, a very similar type of malware was seen last year. It was known as Mirai Botnet and was used in several large-scale network attacks including those that took down Twitter, Reddit, Netflix and Air Bnb. Just like the Bricker bot, Mirai botnet scans the internet looking for vulnerable IOT devices like cameras, routers, home appliances and even car headsets. Once accessed, the Mirai will install a malware on the device turning it into part of a botnet; which is basically an army of devices used to take down websites like those mentioned before through DDOS Attacking. Instead of trying to recruit a bot army however, the Mirai bot simply destroys the device so it will no longer work.
The Bricker bot can infect almost any Internet of things device that is directly connected to the Internet with a publicly showing IP address; which is basically all of them. They also seem to be targeting devices that run embedded versions of Linux, like routers, IP cameras and digital video recorders.
Now for those who aren’t exactly tech savvy, this may not be of too much of a concern to you. However, should you have a number of smart devices, some of those too look out for include:
- Smart Tvs,
- Smart Fridges,
- Smart Lights
- Car Audiio / Visual systems
- Security Cameras
- Baby Monitors
- Smart Lights and Locks.
- Basically anything that is connected to the interent but does not a have a full or mobile operating system and therefore a solid layer of security.
As CBC have mentioned:
“Part of the issue with some of these devices is that out of the box, they have a default password. And if nobody changes that password, it’s easy for malware like Mirai or Brickerbot to get in and wreak havoc”
“It can be very difficult to change the default password.”
At this stage, the creator of Brickerbot is still unknown, so its is difficult to determine their motive. With Mirai Bots, among many other malwares – the motive is usually quite clear and is usually financial. With the Brickerbot however, its not exactly obvious why someone would want to create a software that renders IOT devices unusable.
At this stage however, all that we can do is advise those who are using or thinking of purchasing a smart device to purchase well-known brands as they are far more likely to keep up-to-date with safe security measures. Make sure if possible you do always change your passwords and for additional security you can always set up a VPN.